Dental anxiety is a common condition, with around a fifth of adult Finns having some fear of dental treatment. Such fear and anxiety may be caused by a previous unpleasant or painful experience in dental treatment, often in childhood. Sometimes parents pass their fear on to their children. Dental anxiety occurs in all age groups, and in both women and men.

A visit to the dentist causes some nervousness in most patients, but people can usually control it. In most cases, the anxiety eases up during the treatment when the patient realises that there was no need for it. For some, however, the dental anxiety can be so intense that they seek dental care only in a pressing need.

Most often, a patient suffering from dental anxiety is afraid of pain, tooth drilling or anaesthesia. For some, another source of anxiety is the sounds and smells of the treatment room or the equipment, lights and positions used during treatment. A dentist or a dental assistant that listens to the patient plays an important role in helping patients who suffer from dental anxiety.

How to manage fear and anxiety?

Dental anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, it’s a good idea to bring it up at the beginning of your visit. When the staff knows about your anxiety, they can take it into account during the procedure. You can also tell us about your dental anxiety when booking your appointment, so our dentist knows about it in advance. The trust between a patient and a caregiver is a prerequisite for a mutually pleasant care relationship. It provides the patient a sense of control during treatment, easing anxiety.

Today, dental treatment can be nearly painless thanks to effective pain relief methods and advanced equipment. Where needed, the stress associated with dental anxiety can be reduced with a sedative pre-medication or using nitrous oxide during the procedure. In cases of extreme anxiety where treatment by other means is not successful, treatments can be performed under general anaesthesia.

Dental anxiety form

You can fill in a dental anxiety form before your visit and bring it with you to the dentist’s surgery.
If you prefer, you can also book an appointment simply to talk about your fears and anxiety, and to plan the most appropriate dental treatment for you together with your dentist.